A pair of Central Division teams looking to get back in the win column battle Saturday when the division-leading Milwaukee Bucks host the Chicago Bulls in the opener of a home-and-home set. The only Central club with a winning record, Milwaukee returns home from a brief two-game road trip that resulted in losses at Charlotte and Miami. The Bucks erased an 18-point deficit against the reigning NBA champion Heat to force overtime on Wednesday before dropping a 113-106 decision.
Chicago will be wrapping up its season high-tying five-game road trip. The Bulls began the trek with a victory in Phoenix before suffering three straight losses, including a 93-89 setback at Houston on Wednesday. Chicago has had nothing but success against the Bucks of late, winning each of their last eight overall meetings and four straight visits to the Bradley Center.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, WGN (Chicago), Fox Sports Wisconsin (Milwaukee)
ABOUT THE BULLS (5-6): After keeping its opponents under the century mark in each of its first six games, Chicago yielded over 100 points in four straight contests. The Bulls held Houston to 93 points on Wednesday to break the trend, but that did not satisfy forward Joakim Noah. "Our defense is not what it used to be," Noah said. "It's not what it was last year, that's for sure." Chicago allowed a league-low 88.2 points last season.
ABOUT THE BUCKS (6-4): Forward John Henson registered his first career double-double Wednesday, scoring 17 points and grabbing a team-high 18 rebounds. Henson became one of 12 players - and the only rookie - with at least 18 boards in a game this season. Guard Brandon Jennings recorded his ninth multi-steal performance of the season with five against Miami. He also notched 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists without committing a turnover. The last Buck to post a number over five in each of those categories with no turnovers was Lester Conner, who had six points, seven boards, seven assists and seven steals on April 14, 1992.
1. The Bulls haven't won five in a row in Milwaukee since capturing six straight from 1995-96 to 1997-98.
2. Milwaukee center Samuel Dalembert made the first 3-pointer of his career Wednesday after missing his first 10 attempts.
3. Jennings ranks first in the league with an average of 3.30 steals.
PREDICTION: Bulls 99, Bucks 93.